Here we are again, fellow Old Schoolers! Today I am going to address the elephant in the room, the “hot new” format that everyone is talking and playing in Old School. We are going to explain how it works, why is so popular and, of course, a lot of deck picks!!
What is 7 Points Singleton?
Is an Old School format, with all the allowed sets (ABU, Arabian, Legends, The Dark and Fallen Empires), but with a different B&R list. It has mana burn and the London mulligan, and you play with a 60 card deck WITHOUT SIDEBOARD. Reprints are allowed, with the original art, of course. The only banned cards are the ante cards, and the Restricted… well, you are playing only one of each (Singleton, remember?) so instead we have this chart:
As you can see, the cards are numbered from one to four. On your deck you can only play a total of SEVEN points, hence the name. The rest of the cards can be played without any problem (think as their value is 0) but always one of each, except basic lands: you can play all the basic lands you want.
Why is so popular the format?
With this numbered value, the format does not require you to play the expensive cards: on the four points slot is worth more the Sol ring than the Lotus, believe me. If you wanna play more than a colour, you really don’t need the duals because you can only play one of each. With all the lately buyouts of cards from the (infamous) Reserved list and all the prices going up like crazy, including white border like Chronicles and Revised (look at Revised duals, scream loud and come back if you wish), this format is the most budget friendly you can find inside Old School.
Another thing that makes this format so fun is that there are no oppressive cards. Cards that in Old School are very good and played 4x like Serendib efreet or Black vise, here there is only one of them in all the deck, so you can deal with them easy or you can end up not seeing them at all in the match. Usual decks of the format are one or two colour decks, with a lot of different cards trying to do the same thing. Let’s take a look to the first deck photo of the day:
As you can see in this Monoblack deck by our friend Andoni Perez, there are only two knights: Black knight and Order of the Ebon hand. You can´t play all eight of them so you are forced to find alternatives, and let me warn you, Old School cards in general are pretty bad. So he plays Erg Raiders, Hassran ogress and Cyclopean mummy (go and search what they do, I´ll wait here laughing because they are bad); the same for the other mana costs and for all the spells.
Clearly, you have to search for the best card on each of the mana costs that fits the plan you want, and here is the third thing that makes this format so enjoyable: the deckbuilding. You have to adapt to your pool, to your pocket and of course to the game plan. You can stay for hours searching cards in your collection or in the web that fits what you want, because netdecking in this format is difficult. In part, because there are not a lot of tournaments yet, and mostly because the cards other players play are worse in your deck. For example, if you want to buy the deck above, it has a Chaos and a Su-chi that are very expensive, so you have work searching for substitutes!
The deck I posted is the typical monocolour aggro deck, to keep things easy. But in this format you can play whatever you want. Let’s take a look to the second deck of the day:
Cyril Terroy made this combo-control deck. This deck tries to play the long game, controlling the early game with counters and some control cards to lock you and end up killing with one of his fatties or comboing you in the face. It has two funny combos in it: Guardian Beast with Chaos orb (to destroy a permanent each turn) and Power artifact with Basalth monolith (that nets infinite mana and kills you usually with Rocket launcher).
This format is all about fun and you don´t have to play the typical aggro deck or the all pimp combo deck. You can play whatever makes you happy. Look at this “man legend”:
This man had a complete Legends set at home and said “why not” and here we are with this beauty. It looks very fun to play and plays three colours. It may sound like crazy in Singleton, but there is not much land destruction (playing three colours and one of each card there are about 6 Stone rain) and you can only play one Strip mine. The people play three and four colours easily. Look at this Elephant Zoo by Tristana Matt:
This is an Unpowered deck. In this format, Unpowered is different than the rest of Old School and Vintage formats: it means that you don’t play any card on the chart above. Think about it as playing a 0 Point Singleton. And yes, this format exists too, and in 7 Points they give prizes to the best Unpowered deck.
To end well the article, here is a pair of links to the Youtube channel of my friend Resti “Old School Mtg Channel” with some matches of this beautiful format:
What do you think about this format? If you were willing to play Old School but thought that is expensive, this can be a very cheap and fun way to come in. If you have any question regarding to this format (or Old School), you can hit me on Twitter @diliz13 or write in the comments. I am waiting your feedback! Until next time, don’t forget to play Serendib that costs 0 points!